September 21, 2021

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Big Tech House Hearing: Mark Zuckerberg emails about the Instagram deal

4 min read

Facebook’s ২০১ 1 billion deal to buy Instagram in April 2012 became the focus of a wide-ranging no-confidence hearing in the House Antitrust subcommittee on Wednesday with the CEOs of four major technology companies. The committee released emails from Mark Zuckerberg stating that Facebook’s CEO feared the photo-sharing app would become an important competitor.

Referring to the email communication provided by the social media giant, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY.) Said the documents “told a very disturbing story.”

“Facebook saw Instagram as a powerful threat that could drive business away from Facebook, so Facebook bought it without competing with it,” Nadler said. “It’s the kind of antiseptic acquisition that was created to resist anti-law.”

According to documents obtained by the committee, Facebook CEO tried to pressure Instagram co-founder Kevin Systrom to agree on a মূল 500 million acquisition of Facebook’s original acquisition, while Systrom told an Instagram investor that he feared Zuckerberg would go into “lost mode.” If Systrom doesn’t sell him Instagram. Zuckerberg complained to Systems that Facebook is “developing our own strategy, so how much we’re employed now also determines how far we’ve come in the line of competitors versus competitors.”

In 2012, Zuckerberg wrote in an internal email, just before formally reaching an agreement to buy Instagram, he wrote, “Instagram can significantly hurt us without being a huge business.” In another email, Zuckerberg said, “We can probably always buy any competitive startups,” and joked that “we’ll have some time before we buy Google.”

“I’ve always been clear that we see Instagram as both a competitor and a complement to our services,” Zuckerberg said in response to a question from Nadler on Wednesday. He said it was no secret that Facebook was creating its own camera app at the time.

Zuckerberg further argued that Facebook’s acquisition of Instagram was an “American success story” that Facebook had invested in Instagram to expand the app.

“I think acquisitions [of Instagram] Succeeded wildly, “Zuckerberg said,” there was no guarantee that Instagram would succeed. He further noted that the FTC had access to Nadler’s cited documents and had approved the deal.

Later, the rap. Pramila Jaipal (D-Wash.) Asked Zuckerberg if they had threatened to copy the product to an acquisition target if they did not sell it on Facebook. He asked about Instagram and whether Facebook had threatened Evan Spiegel, the CEO of Snap, in such a way. Zuckerberg said he doesn’t remember doing it.

However, Zuckerberg admits that Facebook has actually copied features from others. He said the company’s “others-led features must have been adapted.” As a matter of fact, Instagram has added a “story” feature to the 24-hour expired posts on Instagram, a copy of the Snapchat story and a short-form video of the Instagram reels ready to launch a la tiktok.

Facebook’s CEO, who called for testimony along with three other technology chiefs – Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, Alphabet / Google’s Pretty Pichai and Apple’s Tim Cook – attended the hearing via video conference, which lasted more than five hours on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, subcommittee member Rep. Bezas was asked by Jamie Raskin (D-Mo) to discuss WarnerMedia’s distribution of HBO Max on Amazon Fire TV – and whether Amazon was using its position as a “gatekeeper” to claim content from WarnerMedia. To get the HBO Max app on Fire TV. Bezos replied, “I’m not familiar with the details of that discussion,” but he said he thinks the companies will eventually reach an agreement.

When asked if it was appropriate for Amazon to use its “gatekeeper” status to obtain additional terms in contract negotiations, Bezos replied that in general, “if we only talk abstractly, it could be inappropriate and there may be situations where it is very common.” Business and would be very appropriate. “

Beazley was asked by Jaipal about the Wall Street Journal report that Amazon employees access sensitive business information from third-party vendors to develop competitive products as a “standard operating method”.

Amazon has a policy that prohibits employees from using “vendor-specific data to assist our private label business, but I cannot guarantee you that this policy has never been violated,” Bezos said, adding that companies continue to investigate allegations “very carefully.”

Several Republican members of the anti-Justice subcommittee tried to pressure the CEOs of Google and Facebook about conservative opposition bias. Pichai and Zuckerberg deny they have anything to do with the affiliation of their platform’s ‘algorithm’ or the politics of practice.

GOP representatives also grilled Pichai about Google’s decision to drop any project for the Pentagon, alleging that the agency was working with the Chinese military. Pichai responded that Google does not work with the Chinese military and that Google is “deeply committed to supporting the U.S. military and the U.S. government.”

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